Should Michele Bachmann Be a Member Of the House Intelligence Committee?


House Intelligence Committee member Representative Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) questions to CIA Director John Brennan in Committee Hearings sound calm and almost reasonable to the ear of the average American. Watch the video, however, and notice how many times Brennan and his aides tell Bachmann that the question she has asked is better dealt with in "closed session." That means, the information is sensitive: either the answer or, perhaps the question itself, is not appropriate where there are reporters and cameras and listening ears that the United States government does not control.

Lest one thinks I'm kidding, notice the facial expressions and the flummoxed reactions of the CIA Director and his associates. Nonplussed is a mild word to describe the level of their disturbance and distress at hearing Bachmann queries them on these particular issues in open hearings. I'm sure more than one of them would like to physically throttle her but has better control than to do it where he can be seen and identified — these guys are professional spooks, after all.

Members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, as well as members of the Defense Committees and Foreign Policy Committees — and, perhaps a few others — are required to have security clearances and to clearly understand that "government transparency" does not extend to much of the business with which their committees deal daily. In other words, loose lips sink ships. In still other words, carelessness with classified information is tantamount to treason, per the definition of treason in the Constitution.

Many of us of the Democratic Party persuasion have ridiculed Representative Bachmann's guano-insanity many times before, as well as pointing out the obvious oxymoron of including her on the House Intelligence Committee. I confess to guilt in this regard.

This incident, however, is of a greater magnitude and intensity. It transcends ridicule. This is no longer funny. At the very least, Bachmann is derelict in her duty as a sworn representative of the House. Her lack of understanding of what it means to be discreet regarding intelligence and security matters may skirt worse offenses than that. Her blabbermouth may have alerted enemies of the United States about any number of subtleties that Director Brennan wished to keep under wraps until the opportune moment.

By the way, here is the text of the United States Constitution, Article 3, Section 3: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

If any enemy received either aid or comfort through anything spoken by Representative Bachmann, and if that can be proven in court ... there are thousands of witnesses.